Section 1: Keeping teams active.
There are many ideas floating around on how to keep teams active in the
league, and most have solid backing justifying them. So the problem here is
that WHICH of these ideas will best serve the general interest, or which ones
are even feasible.
From the forums, there are several ideas I would like to bring forward.
Dropping or scaling for inactivity
Ares via proxy SportChick wrote:
1) Team score should be cleared at least every year, if not more often
2) Non-active teams should loose points until the reach 0 and then be deleted
This would encourage teams to be more active. It would also alleviate quite a
bit of the top rank camping and teams that won't match because they don't want
to lose their spot. It really serves no purpose at all to have a team and
refuse to play. I see lots of teams in the "never played a match" group and
"inactive" group. That's a good start. I just think team score need to be
more fluid in order to encourage participation. Teams that just start out
can't really expect to move up hardly at all. If everyone starts at zero at
some point, then those that are active have the chance to move up.
Then maybe a hall of fame of sorts can be kept for different categories - that
way there will be multiple reasons to play (most games played, longest first
place, number of first places, best overall ranking, etc.)"
I think these are good ideas, and both 1 and 2 have been discussed between
other people besides Ares. Having a yearly team score reset seems to be done
in plenty of other on line competitive games, and usually brings up more
activity after the reset, as good teams re vie for position. Also, near the
reset date, there are large numbers of team member changes, which usually
gives a healthy change to the scene (as inactive players are left in inactive
teams, while active ones move on to make or join more active ones).
Because of the small size of the league, I am thinking that using a bi yearly
team ranking reset might not be of better service. Because by 6 months, every
one has played every one (ideally) and it is time to move on. But thats a
detail that probably is not very critical.
Also, the idea of slowly dropping points off a team because of inactivity
leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth. I do acknowledge that some thing of
similar idea should be done, but I am not sure if subtracting points off a
team is really what we want. That would probably make some of the older,
more inactive teams just drop out of sight, as their members cannot keep up.
That is why I am more in favor of using [dmp]'s idea:
Team score modification (Activity factor) (Was discussed on IRC)
Rewarding active teams for activity is to be an issue on allot of peoples mind.
I think the activity-factor is an easy way to do this. Every team got an
activity factor (1 = all active, 0 = dead team). There ELO score (as we use
now) is then multiplied with the activity factor and teams are sorted by the
result of the multiplication. The only issue is how this activity factor
should be calculated (but it should be pretty easy to come up with some
formula). Codewise the idea is pretty straightforward to implement and if it
dosnt work as expected (we could have a trail periode to see how it works out)
then just remove it again.
It would change the aspect of top ranking camping. But a team that suddenly
does come active, can regain its earned position by playing a number of
matches to increase their activity rating. This idea would help keep older
teams active, but probably not keep new teams in the game. I will address
new team activity in section 4.
Death of teams
A constant factor that seems to rise up in many discussions is that some teams
are inactive because they dislike the atmosphere of the league. Having left
and come back numerous times, I can sympathize with them. It is hard to place
a finger on it, what really is the bad atmosphere that kills teams. As I
stated in my first
there is an
attitude among some players that is not healthy for a good playing atmosphere.
As slime stated very aptly here:
..... If you create a newer team or join a
team with newer players in it , and eventually get a match with one of the
better teams , it is very hard to win. You are going up against players with
much more experience , skill , and teamwork than you.
This is what drives many of the newer teams and players out of the league ,
and overall ducati sometimes. It just isn't fun to lose. Many of the older
bzflagians (not agewise , of course
) , will argue this point. Many will say
that the match itself should be fun , win or lose. And it is! , but for the
most part , only for them. They have fun playing in matches with their old
friends. But to the 'noobies' , it really isnt fun to play a match and lose.
Losing consistantly drives many players out , I've seen it done.
Some teams are just too obbsessed with winning. They want their team to be the
best in the league , however it is done. They want only the best players on
their team. This is making two classes in the league: The top-ranked ,
top-skilled group / and the low-ranked , low-skilled group. Over a period of
time, many of those lower-ranked teams go inactive. You've probably seen this
done, as i have.
We have to deal with both new players and old ones, and some how mesh the two
different mentalities. Being one of "must win" mentality, it is hard for me
to get into the head of a person who could care less about who wins. What I
can say, is that this is a very strong emotion, one not easily put down at any
rate. An idea is having recognition and rewards for things out side of match
performance to facilitate different interests. I'll leave that to section 4